John Thompson didn’t have to think twice about a return race for one of his autumn carnival prospects.
Thompson will start Zanbagh’s autumn campaign in the Guy Walter Stakes, a Group Two race honouring Guy Walter, the five-year-old mare’s first trainer.
“There was no big decision to make about which race to target first-up – it was always going to be the Guy Walter,” Thompson said.
Despite its transfer from Warwick Farm to Randwick, the Chipping Norton Stakes meeting is synonymous with Walter’s biggest moments in racing before his death in 2014.
He trained Tie The Knot to win four successive Chipping Norton Stakes and Zanbagh will race in the same Tait family colours, encompassing red silks and white cap.
Thompson pulled off a Guy Walter Stakes ambush last year when Danesiri won as a $21 chance.
Zanbagh is at similar odds on Saturday, but Thompson expects the mare to act fresh and isn’t ruling out a repeat of her first-up win for the stable in November.
“She did really well during the short break she had,” he said.
“I think I will be able to place her better through the mares’ races during the carnival and try and win a good race with her.”